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How to Empty a Recycle Bin using Python?


This post will teach us how to employ Python to clean the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin is a temporary storage location for deleted files and folders on Windows systems. A deleted document or folder is relocated to the Recycle Bin in which it can if required, be recovered.

In certain situations, you may need to empty the Recycle Bin programmatically, and this is where Python comes in handy. Although Python doesn't have a built-in feature for emptying the Recycle Bin, it may be used in conjunction with those other programs and libraries to do this.

With Python, you can automate the process of emptying the Recycle Bin, making it a lot easier and more efficient. Let us just check now at working methods in cleaning the recycle bin prior we delve into the code.

Step 1: Add the Necessary Libraries The necessary libraries must first be imported. We will be using the os library to perform the necessary operations. The os library provides a variety of methods for working with the file system, including the ability to delete files and folders.


Step 2: Determine the Path to the Recycle Bin The next step is to determine the path to the Recycle Bin. Regardless on the Windows operating system you are running, the Recycle Bin is situated somewhere else.

For Windows 7 and later versions, the path to the Recycle Bin is C:\$Recycle.Bin.


Step 3: Delete the Files in the Recycle Bin Now that we have the path to the Recycle Bin, we can proceed to delete the files and folders stored in the Recycle Bin. We'll utilise the rmtree function from the OS library for this purpose.


The rmtree method deletes a folder and all its subdirectories and files. We use a try-except block to catch any errors that may occur while deleting the files and folders in the Recycle Bin.

Step 4: Call the empty_recycle_bin Function Finally, we call the empty_recycle_bin function to empty the Recycle Bin.


By removing all of the files and directories housed in the recycle bin, the aforementioned code will clean the recycle bin. In summary, this post taught us how to use Python to clear the Recycle Bin. With the use of the os library, we were able to automate the process of deleting the files and folders stored in the Recycle Bin.

In conclusion, Python provides a simple and efficient way to empty the Recycle Bin, making it a useful tool for automating repetitive tasks. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, Python is a powerful and flexible language that can be used for a variety of tasks.

Ctypes Library

You may automate the Recycle Bin clearing process utilising Python and indeed the ctypes library, for instance as a component of a bigger application or script. As a result, you can include the Recycle Bin into your workflow and execute tasks like emptying the Recycle Bin as a component of a planned course of action or even as part of a wider data management strategy.

By executing the SHEmptyRecycleBin Windows API method, the ctypes library can be utilized to clear the Recycle Bin on Windows. The Shell32 library has a method that can clear the Recycle Bin for just the current user or for the entire users.

Below is a sample Python programme that empties the recycle bin using the ctypes library:



Successful emptying of the recycle bin..

The windll property of the ctypes library is used in this code to load the SHEmptyRecycleBin function from the shell32 library. The argtypes and restype elements of the function object are used to specify the argument as well as return types for the function. The function is finally invoked, and the outcome is examined to see whether the Recycle Bin has been effectively emptied.

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